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Old 20th May 2010, 10:11 AM   #1
sequoia payroll
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Default Does Having Out Links From Your Site Hurt Or Help You?

When I set up my website, I added a number of helpful links to the site for small business owners. These included links to the IRS, and multiple links that are state specific. When I was done, there were probably over 100 sites I linked to. Maybe even 200, and honestly, maybe even more than that, I don't know.

Now, according to my analytics, these links are clicked on regularly. However, they must rank high in a google search, because they are always an entry point, and an exit point.

When I added them, I specifically wanted them to be used as a helpful guide for people looking for a government form, or small business advise. I have since read that having multiple outlinks can hurt the value of your site, and can even effect where you are placed in the search engines. I don;t want to remove the links, but I also don't want them to hurt my business.

What have you heard? Does having outlinks on your site hurt you?

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Old 21st May 2010, 12:40 AM   #2
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You will find different answers from different people. But I can tell you that I strongly believe if the links you have are helpful to your visitors then in the end they help your rankings. There are variables within the algorithm that have to do with linking. We don't know exactly how it works, and it changes slightly over time. Some of these variables may "pass link popularity" to the sites you are linking too. Theoretically there may be a case to be made that your site would benefit if that "link juice" didn't go to others but only your own. I don't think that is a concern though based on my own experiences with situations like yours. Theoretically there may also be a case made that outgoing links like you describe actually "help" within the algorithm.

That's all speculation, but some of the logic you'll wrestle with if you think about it too much. But think out of the box. Is it more likely other people will link to your site because it is more helpful with this section. My answer is yes, based on what you have told us. How many links is that worth? I don't know but my experience is that the best way to have the highest link popularity is to provide the most value possible to the visitors of your site. The people linking to your site - the ones that really matter - are visitors to your site. So while you may "sculpt" your links to your benefit, in the long run you may hinder your big picture efforts by decreasing the value of the information you are providing your visitors. When it doubt, if it is good for your visitors its typically a good thing for the search engines. In your scenario, I truly believe this applies. Focus your energy on making your site better, adding more content and don't focus on this sort of thing.

If you want to improve things and "do" something that will help. Take your 5 most important pages when it comes to your revenue. Make them prominent on your home page. Your most important page with the most links going to it from other sites. Simple, effective for your business, visitors and search engines. Think of things this way versus "sculpting" your links (the same sort of exercise can be done throughout a site).

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Old 24th May 2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Hi There

I would like to add that you need to watch who you link to, because it is a factor in search engine evaluation. If you link to spammy sites, the spiders will know that and it will reflect poorly upon your site.

However, it sounds like you have linked to government-type sites, which are usually viewed positively.

It's always better to have more links pointing in, because it tells the engines that other people think highly enough of your site to link to it. Also, outgoing links are doorways out of your site, and while you want to provide value for your customers, you don't want to be a revolving door.

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Old 27th May 2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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I would also add that you should make the links open in a new window so as to keep the people on your site at the same time.

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Old 31st May 2010, 06:34 AM   #5
John Peterr
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if you really want to have informative sites for your users, it is a good thing.

here one thing you should analyze is

1. keep in mind that no link juice is passed to the site your are linking to (use no follow)
2. dont link to the spammy sites or adult or porn related
3 the third important factor you really need to concentrate on is, how much % of visitors are leaving your site and going to the sites you had linked to.
(revenue is most effected by this)

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Old 31st May 2010, 06:45 AM   #6
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Logan has the best answer so far. I also believe that there is "something" in the algorithm that will reward site for linking towards other sites. Otherwise the internet will be sort of disconnected.

If you seriously think that the site that you are linking to will add some value to your site then you should go on. Always provide maximum information for your visitors.

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Old 31st May 2010, 11:54 AM   #7
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They are helpful - just don't go over board!

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Old 1st June 2010, 04:51 AM   #8
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I think you need to check back all outbound links. maybe some of them got problem. besides, in my opinion, too much outbound links is not really good for your site. you my fall in link farm.

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Old 1st June 2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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They are not good at all for your page rank as they are not considered like real links, but for the visitors they are nice. so it's up to you what to choose.

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Old 1st June 2010, 03:25 PM   #10
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Outbound links can both hurt and help your URL... It depends on who you are linking to.

If your page is linking to a page on a site that Google considers a "bad neighborhood" (i.e. a site that violates Google's webmaster guidelines) then Google might choose to not only penalize the bad neighborhood you're linking to, but also to penalize your URL for helping promote a bad neighborhood.

On the otherhand, linking to authoritative, well trusted sites like .gov sites can actually help your rankings. Google looks at a ranking factor called domain trust. It's based on not only the trust fact of sites that you link to, but also the trust factor of the sites that you link to. So if you link to a few well-trusted sites, this can actually help your domain trust ranking factor score just as linking to spammy, non-trusted sites can hurt your domain trust ranking factors.

If you're not willing to 100% vouch for a site that you're linking to, then 1) don't link to them or 2) NOFOLLOW the link.

Inbound links to your site on the otherhand rarely affect ranking UNLESS you have 1) been proven to have paid for the links or 2) have a huge back link profile made up of primarily spammy, low quality links like those from blog comment spamming.

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